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Medical Emergency / Suicidal Intention

If you are having a medical emergency or are concerned you will harm or kill yourself call 911.  On campus you can also call 207-581-4040.   The UMaine Police will direct you to the appropriate resources.

You may also go directly to Eastern Maine Medical Center Emergency Room at Eastern Maine Medical Center (489 State St., Bangor) or the Emergency Room at St. Joseph’s Hospital (360 Broadway, Bangor).

Emotional Distress

Students may present at the Counseling Center any time between 1-4pm be seen if they feel they have an urgent problem.  If those times are inconvenient, students can call (207) 581-1392 or come into the Center and we will schedule the first available time to meet with students who are in acute, significant distress.    Students who are in an emergency situation will not be turned away and usually can be seen quickly.   During the fall and spring semesters our hours are M – F, 8am-4:30pm.  During the summer, staff may not be available between 12-1; the office is otherwise open M-F, 8am-4:30pm.

After hours during the fall & spring semesters, students who require urgent attention may call UMaine Police at 207-581-4040 and ask to speak to a counselor.   UMaine Police may direct the student to resources other than the Counseling Center depending on the nature of the emergency.  During the summer, Counseling Center staff may not be available after hours.  At such times the UMaine Police will direct students to appropriate resources.

Students may also call 1-888-568-1112 (Community Health & Counseling Service’s Crisis Response Line).  Note that this number is always staffed if for some reason you do not want to call the Counseling Center or Campus Police.

Calming Techniques

If you are not in immediate danger and want to attempt to lower your level of distress try some of the techniques below or check out our stress reduction MP3s.  If these don’t help, call during our daytime hours (8-5) and set up and appointment at the Counseling Center.  If your distress is high, please tell that to the receptionist so we can schedule appointments as soon as possible.  In some cases this can be the same day.

  • Grounding – Sit comfortably and upright on a chair or sofa with you feet firmly on the floor.  Gently press your feet into the floor noticing your legs tighten a little and then relax.  Let your shoulders relax.  Pay attention to how the ground and chair are supporting you.
  • Centering – Ground as described above.  Very gently rock your hips until you feel your weight is even settled.  Imagine there is a string attached from your tail bone through the top of your head and let your body relax and rise up along that string (don’t “sit up” as if at attention).   Let your shoulders drop and breathe naturally.
  • Breathing – Imagine you have a straw in your mouth and make a small opening to breathe through.  Breathe slowly  through your mouth and imagine the air is being drawn down to your belly button.  Slowly breathe out.  Repeat at least 6 times.   As this becomes easier, pay attention only to your breathing.
  • Planning – Write down what actions you can take to address the problem.  Identify which are feasible and when you can do them.  Decide when you will do these.  Often just having a plan helps lowers distress.
  • Distracting – Make a list of 3-10 things you can do to take your mind off what is upsetting you. Do at least one of these.  Drinking and drug use should not be on this list.
  • Reach Out – Call a friend or family member just to talk.

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